The artist collective Maasai Mbili, coming from the sign-painting and street-art background and dealing with social and political issues in their art, produced a series of sign paintings on vernacular names of places in Nairobi and their meanings.The Berlin based artist Laura Horelli who spent some years of her childhood in Nairobi deals with the communities of expats in Nairobi. She investigates how they cope with the contradictions between their idealistic aims and their actual living and working realities. Sam Hopkins created an installation about matatus, with references ranging from the interior and exterior design to the entertainment features on board, to the competition and to the legends that surround the entire matatu industry.
AFROPOLIS / NAIROBI (curated with Christian Hanussek)
Afropolis - City, Media, Art was an exhibition project, dealing with five megacities in Africa (Cairo, Nairobi, Johannesburg, Kinshasa and Lagos), their histories, recent developments, and cultural productions including visual arts. The Nairobi part of the exhibition was exhibited in the gallery of the Goethe-Institut Nairobi, prior to the main exhibition in Germany.
The Nairobi exhibition showcased four commissioned art works: Slum-TV, a grassroots media initiative, which produces a bimonthly newsreel, documenting the local issues in and around Mathare, developed and produced for Afropolis, in cooperation with scriptwriter Charles A Matathia, director Hawa Essuman editor Chris King and producer Sam Hopkins, a fragment of an animated soap opera called Upgradasion. The setting of this soap is a slum-development project giving fragmented insights into the complex economies of a slum.
EXHIBITION, PROJECT / ANIMATION STILLS: CHRIS KING / INSTALLATION IMAGES: CHRISTIAN HANUSSEK, SAM HOPKINS / GOETHE INSTITUT NAIROBI, RAUTENSTRAUCH-JOEST-MUSEUM, KULTURSTIFTUNG DES BUNDES, IWALEWAHAUS AND GTZ